Young Practitioners Discuss the ‘Before and After’ of the New Intellectual Property Law in Turkey

Published: May 1, 2019

Ece Gönülal Esin Attorney Partnership (a member firm of Baker & McKenzie International, a Swiss Verein) Istanbul, Turkey

Ekin Tüzün Moroğlu Arseven Attorney Partnership Istanbul, Turkey

Approximately 40 young intellectual property (IP) practitioners and law students joined INTA in Taksim Square in the heart of Istanbul, Turkey, on April 12 for an afternoon of discussions covering Turkey’s new IP Law No. 6769 (IP Law). The law entered into force on January 10, 2017, following its publication in the Official Gazette.

INTA opened the event with an overview of the Association’s initiatives and the activities of the INTA Young Practitioners Committee. Following INTA’s remarks, panelists Hülya Çaylı (Paragon Patent, Turkey), Serkan Özkan (Turkish Patent and Trademark Office (TPTO), Turkey), Melike Yilmaz (TPTO, Turkey) and Åžirin Akgün (Destek Patent Inc., Turkey), discussed the changes introduced in the new IP Law in Turkey.

Ramifications of Turkey’s New IP Law

Focusing on patents and utility models, Ms. Çaylı highlighted the removal of the deferred examination system in the new law, as well as changes affecting the ownership of academic staff inventions, plant varieties and biological material, opposition terms, and restoration of rights. She noted that the registration procedures for employee inventions were currently quite complex and suggested the adoption of a simplified method.

Mr. Özkan began by discussing the name change of the TPTO-whose previous formal name was the Turkish Patent Institute. Regarding the Regulation of Implementation of Intellectual Property Law, he went on to explain the granting procedures, use obligations, compulsory licenses, state-funded inventions, and other changes.

Next, Ms. Yilmaz outlined new developments in the trademark arena under the new law, including the allowance of similar trademarks to coexist by means of a consent letter; changes to the provision regarding the loss of rights due to remaining silent; the broadened scope of actions regarded as trademark infringement; the non-use grace period of trademarks; and the proof-of-use request as a defense tool in oppositions, cancellation, and infringement actions.

Under the new law, designs are no longer defined as being within the scope of the law’s protection, Mr. Akgün explained. He also focused on the newly introduced novelty examination and the protection of unregistered designs, as well as changes regarding combined products, employee designs, and design-application requirements.

IP Career Development

The day’s activities concluded with an interactive roundtable session on career opportunities in the area of IP, moderated by Jochen Maxton (Maxton IP, Germany). Young practitioners in attendance asked questions about international career opportunities and requirements for becoming a trademark and patent attorney in various jurisdictions.

Discussions also touched on career opportunities at the TPTO; how the TPTO supports the professional development of their specialists; and whether it is more beneficial for trademark and patent specialists to have a legal education or a technical education such as engineering. The panel also discussed such emerging issues as the impact on artificial intelligence on the future of legal professions.

After an informative afternoon, participants attended a reception where they had the chance to network with fellow young professionals. Several participants praised the presentations for being both engaging and informative.

The Young Practitioners event was co-hosted by Turkish firms Destek Patent Inc., Anadolu Patent Inc., and Demir & Partners Law Firm.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

© 2019 International Trademark Association